An Eclectic Group Exhibition Brings Together Contemporary Interpretations of the Archetypal Vessel

July 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

CHIAOZZA, “Bouquet Sculpture No. 2” (2021), acrylic paint on paper pulp, 36 x 23 x 9 inches. All images courtesy of Hashimoto Contemporary, shared with permission

A group exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco offers a new perspective on the enduring legacy of the vessel as both standalone object and motif. Spanning ceramic vases, oil-based works on canvas, and sculptures made of paper pulp, the show explores the myriad ways the ubiquitous container has appeared throughout art history and how two dozen artists working today interpret the classic form. Included are the minimal, ritualistic paintings by Laura Berger (previously), Stephanie Shih’s sleek Molotov cocktail inscribed with a strikingly hopeful message, and Katie Kimmel’s zany dogs. We’ve gathered some of our favorite works below, and stop by the gallery before Vessel closes on July 31 to see them in person.


Laura Berger, “Vessel 1” (2021), oil on canvas, 42 x 32 inches

Left: Munisa, “La bonga de la vida ‘Josefina'” (2021), clay, wire, and glaze, 18 x 11 x 6 inches. Right: Stephanie Shih, “Molotov Cocktail (A Better World Is Possible)” (2021), 10 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches

Leif Zikade, “Emergence” (2021), acrylic yarn, 24.5 x 16.5 inches

Hilda Palafox, “Cosecha” (2021), high temperature ceramics, 12 x 12 x 12 inches

Left: Katie Kimmel, “Nosferatu vase” (2021), ceramic, 13 x 7 x 3.4 inches. Right: Katie Kimmel, “Camelot vase” (2021), ceramic, 11 x 6 x 3.4 inches

Lorien Stern, “Ready for the Afterparty” (2021), ceramic, 14 x 14.25 x 8.5 inches



Art Craft

Precise Replicas Cast Wildlife and Plants as Delightfully Tiny Sculptures

July 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Fanni Sandor, shared with permission

Fanni Sandor (previously) melds her background in biology with a decades-long enthusiasm for miniatures by creating an adorable menagerie of minuscule wildlife. Based in Hungary, she sculpts 1:12 scale models of leaping squirrels and multicolor tree frogs from clay and soft fibers and more recently has ventured into larger ecosystems populated by speckled mushrooms, ferns, and the tiniest tulips. Sandor’s biologically accurate models are sold out on Etsy right now, but keep an eye on shop updates by following her on Instagram.





A Flower Patch of Recycled Denim Grows from the Ceiling in Ian Berry's 'Secret Garden'

July 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Secret Garden” (2021), at Museum Rijswijk. All images © Ian Berry, shared with permission

Whimsical tendrils of vines, foliage, wisteria, and chrysanthemums sprout from artist Ian Berry’s wild, overgrown garden plots. Densely assembled and often suspended from the ceiling, his recurring “Secret Garden” is comprised of blooms and leafy plants created entirely from recycled denim, producing immersive spaces teeming with indigo botanicals in various washes and fades.

Since its debut at the New York Children’s Museum of the Arts, Berry’s site-specific installation has undergone a few iterations. “The first one was made with children in mind… hence the more magical secret garden angle,” he says, “just wanting to (ensure they think about) where the material comes from, see what they can make, and seek out outdoor places within a city.” It’s since traveled to London, Barcelona, The Netherlands, France, Kentucky, and the San Francisco Flower Mart, where it’s permanently installed as a trellis lining the space’s windows.


“Secret Garden,” New York Children’s Museum of the Arts. Photo by Lucinda Grange

The initial installation sourced damaged bolts from Cone Denim, specifically its now-shuttered White Oak Mill in North Carolina, which is known for its dedication to transparent cotton sourcing and commitment to using less water. Although much of Berry’s works recycle discarded jeans, jackets, and materials that are unusable for garments and employ environmentally conscious companies like Tonello to wash and laser the vines, sustainability is an ancillary element of his practice.

Instead, the East London-based artist focuses on generating a broader conversation about the ways communities change over time and a hope that people will find magic where it’s not necessarily expected.  “The piece was born out of the idea that in New York, many children would grow up without a garden, and as much of my work is about the community in urban environments,” he shares. “I wanted afterwards for the parents and children to go and seek them out—and they did.”

“Secret Garden” is on view as part of Berry’s solo show Splendid Isolation, which is up through August 15 at Museum Rijswijk in the Hague, The Netherlands. In October, his work is headed to the Textil Museet in Sweden, where it’ll be until May 2022. Explore a larger collection of his textile-based floral pieces on his site and Instagram.


“Secret Garden,” New York Children’s Museum of the Arts. Photo by Will Ellis

“Secret Garden” (2021), at Museum Rijswijk. Photo by Marcus van Ee

“Secret Garden,” New York Children’s Museum of the Arts. Photo by Lucinda Grange

“Secret Garden,” New York Children’s Museum of the Arts. Photo by Will Ellis

“Secret Garden,” New York Children’s Museum of the Arts. Photo by Lucinda Grange




Monumental Cut Paper Portraits Celebrate the Fundamental Importance of Community and Friendship

July 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 77 x 48 1/4 inches. All images courtesy of Antonius Bui and Monique Meloche Gallery, shared with permission

Vietnamese-American artist Antonius Bui highlights the flexible, evolving nature of identity and the value of community through a series of unapologetically affectionate portraits. Elaborate hand-cut botanicals and geometric motifs envelop and give shape to Bui’s subjects, who include chosen and biological family members, friends, and colleagues. Painted in deep blue or inked in smaller spots to emit a warm glow, the pieces are monumental in scale—some extend upwards of 10 feet—and saturated with underlying stories that reveal themselves through smaller portraits and displays of domestic life embedded in the central image.

Continually focused on the power of narrative, Bui leaves gaps in the metaphorical, mesh-like works as a way to create space for more nuanced understandings of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, immigrant experiences, queerness, and the prevalence of false binaries. A child of Vietnamese refugees, they draw on their family’s heritage with “allusions to the spiritual significance of Joss paper, an incense paper used both to imitate value and as a form of blessings, position(ing) each work almost as an offering to honor queer communities,” a statement about the portraits says.

All of the works shown here are part of The Detour Is to Be Where We Are, which is on view through August 14 at Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. You can find more of Bui’s intimate pieces on their site and Instagram.


Detail of “The limits of my language are the limits of my world” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 77 x 48 1/4 inches

Detail of “for hunger is to give the body what it knows it cannot keep” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 120 x 61 inches

“If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 104 x 60 inches

Left: “I remember opening you into words, gently, with a single question” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 100 3/4 x 49 3/4 inches. Right: “for hunger is to give the body what it knows it cannot keep” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 120 x 61 inches

“theoriginalcalloutqueen” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 50 x 99 1/2 inches

Left: “When they move on, it’s just us” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 34 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches. Right: “Vessel 4″ (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 33 3/4 x 21 inches

“If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 104 x 60 inches



Art Design

Translucent Textiles Cast Organisms and Mundane Objects as Dreamy Sculptures and Wearables

July 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Mariko Kusumoto, shared with permission

From polyester, nylon, and cotton, Japanese artist and designer Mariko Kusumoto fabricates sculptural forms that resemble the creatures and everyday objects she finds most fascinating. She uses a proprietary heat-setting technique to mold the ubiquitous materials into undulating ripples, honeycomb poufs, and even tiny schools of fish that are presented in elegant and fanciful contexts. Whether a pastel coral reef or a fantastical bracelet filled with mushrooms, rosettes, and minuscule bicycles, Kusumoto’s body of work, which includes standalone objects and wearables, uses the ethereal qualities of the translucent fibers to make even the banalest forms appear like they’re part of a dream.

You can find a larger archive of the artist’s pieces, which ranges from textiles to metal and resin, on her site and Instagram.





Sarah Sze Implants a Fragmented Installation of Individual Mirrors in a Lush Hudson Valley Landscape

July 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Fallen Sky” (2021) at Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York. Photos by Nick Knight, courtesy of Sarah Sze Studio, shared with permission

Artist Sarah Sze (previously) is known for precisely arranging unique images like photos, paintings, projections into massive sculptural constellations that collapse time and space, and one of her newest installations works in a similar manner, drawing on the tensions between the individual and collective and past, present, and future. Nestled into the lush hillside of Storm King Arts Center in New York’s Hudson Valley, Sze’s “Fallen Sky” is comprised of 132 distinct pieces of polished stainless steel arranged in a fragmented circle.

The sloping, slightly hidden installation, which is now part of the center’s permanent collection, reflects the landscape, shifting the mirrored images it displays depending on the time of day, season, and the location of the viewer. All of the grasses surrounding the metal components were chosen and planted by hand, creating a contrast between the sleek tops of the steel and the natural growths.

Spanning 26 feet, the amorphous, segmented forms evoke the process of erosion and the ways elements change and deteriorate over time. Sze pairs “Fallen Sky” with an immersive collaged installation titled “Fifth Season,” which will be on view inside the center through November 8, an accompaniment that speaks to her vision for the pieces. “The relationship of the human to landscape is this age-old exploration of artists, but both works I’ve made are much more about how the landscape is fragile, it’s in flux, and our relationship to it is fractured,” she said in a recent interview. “I think this has to do with our generation. Our relationship to landscape is not one of owning it.”

Sze speaks at length about the process behind “Fallen Sky” in the video below, and you can explore more of her projects on her site. (via designboom)